Robert Stavins, professor at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government and Chairman of their Environment & Natural Resources Faculty group, advocates for letting the market decide water prices:

Raising water prices (as with the elimination of any subsidy) can be politically difficult. This is probably one of the primary reasons why water demand management through non-price techniques is the overwhelmingly dominant approach in the United States. But the cost-effectiveness advantages of price-based approaches are clear, and there may be some political advantage to be gained by demonstrating these potential cost savings.

Yglesias adds his own two cents.

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